Monday, December 11, 2006

Pure, unpure, old, not so old

Originally uploaded by kirstiecat.
"Is this Simon&Garfunkel", my boss asked one day when I was playing music I got from my wonderful Turkish pop friends. They burned me a CD with music they thought I would like and they got it right. I found artists such as Sufjan Stevens whom I had never heard of before but whom both struck gold with me. My boss' remark get me pondering: am I stuck into music that should have been made before my time? If The Graduate would be made now, Sufjan Stevens could be the one commissioned by Mike Nichols. Stevens belongs to this group of unpure singer-songwriters who balance between witty and emotional. For me their testing and failing at times works much better than for instance Damien Rice.

I got further confirmation to the notion that old music is once again popular as I went to listen to a Swedish singer called Frida Hyvönen. Both my friend and I were quite exhausted when entering Paradiso but when Ms Hyvönen struck the first chords, we were sure that this evening would be just fabulous.

She was advertised as someone continuing on the foundations laid by Joni Mitchell and Carole King. Her solo performance and broken voice is very close to Mitchell. But when it comes to lyrics, I find her much less romanticising than my all-time favourite Carole King. Hyvönen sings of relationships and sexuality in a way that I think everyone can associate to. She does not paint illusionary fantasies but shows the beauty and absurdity of relationships and sexuality in clear and honest light. Somehow she reminds my angst-day companion A Girl Called Eddy but is more simple in her setup.

"You said you were a poet, man
your poetry wasn't obvious to me
when you said I had the Stuff that drove you Wild
but the feeling of power was intoxicating, magic
the feeling of power was intoxicating "

Something I need to point out even with a risk that it might sound shallow. The picture does not do her justice. Somehow in all the pictures on Flickr she manages to seem like a typical jolly outdoor-sports Swedish blond but I thought she was much cooler and much more distant. A simple black dress, blond messy hair and an extremely bright red lipstick on the stage of Paradiso made her look much sexier than in the picture, more like Debbie Harry than this Ralph Lauren ad chick.

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